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20th Century Fox delivered the goods Thursday, giving a packed Hall H a first glimpse at Prometheus, director Ridley Scott’s return to the science-fiction genre. The Prometheus look began with a production video the combined Scott talking about the project and, more tantalizingly, quick shots from the movie, still nearly a year away from release.
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The footage teased a star-spanning epic with massive sets, mystery, distrust and maybe (hopefully) horror. There was a shot of Charlize Theron telling someone to stay back, then obliterating the person with a flamethrower. Next came a spaceship, looking puny as it streaked past a massive planet, and an astronaut walking past a wall of alien hieroglyphics. A room full of alien pods reminiscent of Scott’s landmark Alien film appeared, then several shots of Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender (with bleached blond hair) and Idris Elba.
Scott spoke to the audience via a live feed from the movie’s Iceland set, perhaps a Comic-Con first, and was able to explain that the reason he took so long to return to sci-fi was that he was simply busy exploring other genres.
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What bought him back was a desire to answer a mysterious question that he was surprised no one had ever asked about the Alien movies.
“That could be the centerpiece of what we just completed. That said, that is the only DNA from the first Alien,” Scott said. Huh? So is Prometheus a prequel to Alien or not?
“You’ll hopefully understand what I mean in the last few minutes of the movie,” Scott said.
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“So do I,” quipped Fox panel moderator (and the movie’s writer) Damon Lindelof.
“So does Fox,” snorted Scott.
Scott also discussed the massive sets, why he limited his use of CG and his first foray into 3D.
“I’ll never work without it again,” he said, referring to the 3D format. “It opens up the universe even for the small scenes.”
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When Lindelof asked if the movie was going to have an android (the Alien series featured synthetic humans), Scott revealed there “may be two” and hinted at something more.
“Robots and androids and replicants have become so much of the landscape, so you have to come up with something that hasn’t been seen before,” he said. “You have to find a notion that makes something fresh.”
Rapace (Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) also joined Scott from the Iceland set, while Theron appeared on stage. Theron described her character as “a suit.”
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“In the third act, you see her strip her from her skin and you see what her bones are like and what she’s doing there,” she said.
Fox has said the movie would be rated PG-13, typical for most summer action blockbusters. But Scott said that could change to an R rating.
“I’ve got a responsibility to my studio and [studio co-chief] Tom Rothman, but I always make sure I have both options,” he said. “We will both look at it and decide which is the best way to go.”
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